I’d love to know if you source flowers locally or from US farms. If so, can you share your experiences working directly with growers? If not, why not—so we, as growers, can improve and reach out to designers … we’d love to know what your favorite “locally sourced” flowers/foliages are.
Submitted by LynnVale Studios, LLC
Robyn from Bare Root Flora:
We are fortunate that our local brokers get a fair amount of flowers from Colorado’s own Jordan’s Greenhouse, which grows a hefty portion of the tulips, dahlia, anemones, and ranunculus we buy. Colorado was actually home to many large flower growers back in the day, but those farms went by the wayside long ago. What we wouldn’t do for a Floret Flower Farm down the road! We do try to patronize other fabulous growers like Swan Island Dahlias, out of Oregon, for example. But most of that road ends up being navigated by our wholesalers themselves–we don’t have a tremendous amount of experience working directly with growers. I’d love to get hooked up with more small-scale artisan flower farmers, so if you’re out there, let us know about you!
As much as possible I grow my own and use local growers. The balance comes to me from the San Francisco and the New York markets. I tell the local growers which flowers I am interested in, and they grown them. I am always after unusual varieties and colors but most especially, I am interested in flowers that have been grown responsibly and without pesticides.
Brandon from Epic Flowers:
We’ve been working with local farms for close to 15 years now. What we look for is product that you do not find in traditional designs. Local farms have played a big part of our success because they listen to what we want and they have made is possible for us to design with fun unique florals and greens. Some local farms compete against us florists. This is a turn off, as you might know and when it comes to who we buy tulips from this spring we will remember that. Local farms who want to work with local florists need to know competing against us is not sustainable. Our favorite locally grown flowers: Varieties of Coxcomb/Amaranth, veggies/fruit (ornamental peppers, artichokes, okra, raspberries) snow on the mountain, peony greens, canterbury bells, red shuttle flower, turtle flowers, bergamot, a variety of herbs (mint, Sage, rosemary)
Cori from Moss Fine Floral:
I do source flowers locally as well as from local and national floral wholesalers. I would love to support more independent farms but have only successfully worked with a few. I’ve found that the two farms I work with most are very casual which only works with a very casual client. My calls are sometimes not returned and email is sparse with these growers. This doesn’t stop me from chasing them as their product is always gorgeous and they do service with a smile. If there are farms out there that are reading this post and they can work with me in Chicago I’d love to hear from you!
My local faves are limited but extremely fresh: Zinnia, Cockscomb, Dahlia, Lisianthus, Peony, Limelight Hydrangea, Amaranthus, Tuberose, Sunflowers, Gomphrena, Ornamental Kale, Euphorbia, and Eucalyptus.
Cathy from Sprout Flowers:
My only experience working directly with local growers has been pretty limited. I don’t have time to get out of the shop to go hunting down growers and the few who are willing to deliver are rather scattershot and inconsistent.
Since I am relatively close to the Boston Flower Exchange, it’s my guess that it makes the most sense for local growers who have consistent product to sell directly to wholesalers and not sell a few bunches here and there to random small shops.